Who is Vincent Janssen? We profile Tottenham's potential new signing
By Beya Kabelu
Last Updated: 09/06/16 12:24am
With Sky sources indicating Tottenham have held talks with AZ Alkmaar striker Vincent Janssen, we shed some light on last season's Eredivisie top scorer as a potential £12m switch to the Premier League looms.
On the continent, Janssen has attracted interest from AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and Wolfsburg, while domestically Arsenal and Everton are reported suitors. But it appears Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs have stolen a march in the race to sign the 21-year-old dubbed 'the new Ruud van Nistelrooy'.
So who is the man at the centre of a European transfer tussle, and can he follow in the footsteps of some of the Eredivisie greatest exports? We cast our eye over the Dutchman...
Name: Vincent Janssen
Place of birth: Heesch, Netherlands
Former clubs: Almere City
Spurs in talks with Dutch ace
News story: Tottenham have held talks with Eredivisie top scorer Vincent Janssen
Sporting prowess runs in Janssen's genes. His mother, Annemarie Janssen, was a renowned and highly-decorated athlete; swimming her way to three Olympic medals, a World Championship gold and earning the Dutch Sportswoman of the Year award in 1982.
Such sporting pedigree would have only influenced a young Vincent, who began his own career in the youth ranks of Feyenoord. However, despite scoring a hat-trick as his side sealed the national youth title, the fledging talent was released by the Dutch giants in the summer of 2013.
Undeterred, though, Janssen's battling attitude - a trait evident throughout his career - convinced Dutch second-tier side Almere City to give the free agent a chance. After two seasons, the 21-year-old proved a success at the Yanmar Stadion, finding the net 32 times in 74 appearances.
Janssen's form and application attracted the attention of AZ, who took a gamble on the unproven forward. Initially, the Dutchman failed to live up to expectations as he went eight games without scoring. That, however, all changed with a brace against Twente.
Ever since those first two goals Janssen has been firing on all cylinders. His goal scoring became both consistent and emphatic as he embarked on an eight-game scoring streak - a run which saw him become the first player in 52 years to score 20 goals in the second half of an Eredivisie season.
In 34 leagues matches for Alkmaar last season Janssen scored 27 times, making him the league's top scorer. His fine form was duly recognised by national team manager Danny Blind. After making his Netherlands debut in March, Janssen has transferred his rapid rise in club football to the international scene, winning five caps and scoring on three occasions, including a man-of-the-match display against England at Wembley.
Style of play
Janssen is not your archetype centre forward, ad is more than just a good finisher. His strength on the ball allows him to bully defences and accompanies his exceptional hold-up play, but he is also known for his passing range.
His game is adaptable and his height and strength allow him to play as a target man, while his pace and movement off the ball can stretch defences.
Janssen's goal-scoring endeavours have drawn comparisons to former Manchester United frontman Ruud van Nistelrooy, who also kicked-off his career in the Dutch second-tier.
Catching the eye
Janssen was the stand-out performer in AZ Almaar's 5-1 Eredivisie win over PEC Zwolle in April. He was named man of the match after causing havoc in the opposition defence, and was involved in every goal, scoring four times and assisting team-mate Dabney Dos Santos.
What he says
"I can look back on a great season. For me to score so many goals and get in the Holland team and also to score against England at Wembley makes it the best football year of my life.
"I am ready for a big step up. To be realistic the big Dutch clubs cannot afford me. That's not because of my wages, it's the transfer fee."
What they say
"He's scored a lot of goals. He holds the ball up really well, knows where the goal is," said Former Ajax and Holland defender Mario Melchiot.
Janssen's former youth coach, Gaston Taument, also told FourFourTwo: "Vincent has always lived exemplarily for the sport. There has not been a day that he has not trained optimally.
"That shows his character: he is a fighter, a hardy spirit. Therein lies his greatest strength: he is able to work exceptionally hard and very much so to keep defenders busy."